New Survey Shows Privacy Concerns Create Mixed Emotions For Location-Based Offers

Location-based strategies have changed consumers’ spending habits based on the amount of available offers. As retailers continue to interact with consumers using cross-channel strategies, recipients now prefer to receive coupons on their mobile devices.

In fact, 67% of smartphone and tablet users consider it very convenient and useful to have location-based coupons sent to their mobile devices, according to a recent mobile survey conducted by Prosper Mobile Insights.

Shoppers want to know there is a sale prior to stepping into a store. However, according to the study, approximately 45% of respondents are concerned about security issues based on tracking their location, while close to 26% were not concerned about being tracked. “With 45% of consumers concerned about tracking, there are still  1 in 4 who aren’t,” said Randi Honkonen, an analyst at research firm BIGinsight. “Further, a quarter said they would prefer to receive automatic coupons when near a store, showing that for some, the privacy trade-off is worth the benefit of promotion.”


Location-based coupons offer a convenience factor well- received by some consumers, but retailers should not use them just because they are available, noted Honkonen. According to Prosper Mobile Insights’ EVP Phil Rist, consumers’ perception of location-based offers is like a double-edged sword: “On one side there is opportunity and on the other is a whole group of consumers who don’t want to be tracked,” he noted. “Retailers need to watch both groups on an ongoing basis then make the technology available to customers who want it, while not offending those who don’t.”

Mobile Equals Convenience

Consumers interact with others using their mobile devices more than ever before. As many as 44% of users said they communicate more impersonally with significant others or close friends/family members using their mobile devices. But although a majority (56%) of mobile device users said they would rather call than send a text message, close to 28% of respondents prefer texting.

“Convenience is one of the top reasons for less personal communication,” said Honkonen. “It’s faster and easier for most people to send a text rather than call. Texting also is ideal for shorter conversations. The same convenience factor likely will influence shoppers’ interactions with retailers. Prior to mobile devices, shoppers had to gather circular ads or go online to research before setting foot in a store. Now shoppers can do their research while in the store — and choose to go elsewhere if they find a lower price.”

The Prosper Mobile Insights mobile survey included 348 smartphone and tablet users on their devices throughout September 22-24, 2011.

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